Revellers planning nights out to watch the Euro 2016 football tournament are being warned their night could be cut short if they get too drunk.
A campaign, using the slogan ‘Drink Less Enjoy More’, warns bar staff may refuse to serve them if they have had too much alcohol.
It encourages young people to cut back on how much they drink at home before going out – so-called ‘pre-loading’ – as well as how much they consume when visiting bars, pubs and clubs.
The initiative is organised by Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police, CitySafe and Liverpool NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and aims to raise awareness of the 2003 Licensing Act, which states it is illegal to:
• Buy alcohol for someone who is clearly drunk
• For bar staff to serve someone who is clearly drunk
Both offences are punishable with a fine of up to £1,000 and premises found to be serving people who are clearly drunk are also at risk of being stripped of their licence – but research shows only half of people are aware of the law.
Mayoral lead for Community Safety, Councillor Emily Spurrell, said: “We know that there will be many people getting in the Euro 2016 spirit, and we are just urging them not to drink too much so they have a better and safer night.
“We always see a spike in demand for public services when there is a major sporting event taking place, and it places a huge strain on services such as the police, ambulance staff and hospitals which are already busy.
“We are also working closely with bars and clubs in Liverpool city centre on this issue to support their staff to help keep people safer, and not serve them if they are excessively drunk.”
The council’s Alcohol and Tobacco Unit staff have been running training sessions to support bar staff to confidently refuse service to someone who is clearly drunk. Research carried out by Liverpool John Moores University during a similar campaign last year showed a dramatic increase in the number of people turned away.
Merseyside Police will be actively enforcing the laws in Liverpool City Centre in order to reduce drunkenness.
The campaign features a range of advertising including posters with text conversations between friends to illustrate how their night out could be ruined if they ignore the law, including: “Dean, don’t get too smashed mate! We won’t get served anywhere later” and “Gonna try and catch the England game at home lads. Gaz is bladdered and they won’t serve us. Nightmare!”
Chief Superintendent Mark Wiggins said: “We want everyone to enjoy Euro 2016 – it should be a wonderful tournament and there will be many places around Merseyside showing the games, in particular those involving the home nations. We are not out to spoil anyone’s fun but we will not tolerate anti-social or criminal behaviour.
“We know that around 50 per cent of all violent crimes committed are alcohol related and that if you drink at home, then go out, you are more likely to be involved in violence, either as a victim or as an offender.
“Liverpool’s night time economy is rightly famous and the city has a well-deserved reputation as a safe and vibrant place to enjoy a night out, retaining its Purple Flag status earlier this year. We want to ensure people visiting the city to watch games in licensed premises leave with memories of a fantastic afternoon or evening watching the football and are keen to come back when the tournament is over.
“The Drink Less Enjoy More scheme isn’t aimed at those who drink responsibly – it’s there to help identify the small minority of people who have had too much alcohol and could end up being a danger either to themselves or others. People need to ask themselves whether they want to have their night ended early – possibly even before a match has kicked off – because they are refused entry to a bar due to them having consumed too much alcohol too early. Drink sensibly and enjoy your night out with friends.
“We are also asking people to be aware that if they buy alcohol for a friend who has already drunk to excess they could face prosecution themselves. If you can see your friend has consumed too much alcohol, buy them water or a soft drink instead.
“We are working with our partners to educate staff at licences premises so that they are not breaking the law by serving people who have clearly already had enough to drink.
“If you attend a screening event, stay aware and take good care of your belongings. I would also ask that people plan ahead – make sure you know how you’re getting home at the end of the evening.”
The launch is taking place at the Bierkeller Entertainment Centre in Liverpool ONE, one of the leading venues in the city which is backing the initiative.
Isaac Mayne, Head of Marketing for Burning Night Group who owns Bierkeller said: “We think that the ‘Drink Less, Enjoy More’ campaign is a great initiative which serves to emphasise the importance of responsible drinking, which is something we regard as essential.
“The campaign will highlight the necessity for people to drink sensibly and we feel that this is very opportune due to the start of Euro 2016.
“We want to ensure that everybody has a good time when they visit Bierkeller, and this campaign will help to highlight the significance of drinking responsibly”.
‘Drink Less Enjoy More’ will use a range of communication channels to provide people with friendly reminders about the law. This includes radio and social media advertising, posters outside licensed premises such as supermarkets and pubs and materials in bars.